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  1. PARMENTIER, Antoine-Augustin.

    Traité sur la culture et les usages des pommes de terre, de la patate, et du topinambour ... Publié...

    Paris, Barrois, 1789.

    First edition of an important early work on the potato, the sweet potato, and the jerusalem artichoke.


  2. PISA, Francisco de.

    Descripcion de la imperial ciudad de Toledo, y historia de sus antiguedades, y grandeza, y cosas memorables...

    Toledo, Pedro Rodriguez, 1605.

    First edition of Pisa’s history of Toledo; scarce. The original sheets were reissued in 1617 with new preliminaries. Although the 1605 issue is considerably rarer, the preliminaries here have been supplied from another copy.


  3. NAPOLEON I, Emperor of the French.

    Brevet signed (‘Napole’), for Colonel Marc Nicolas Louis Pécheux, granting him the title...

    ‘Notre Camp Impérial à Burgo’, 22 November 1808.

    This brevet conferred the title of baron upon Colonel Marc Nicolas Louis Pécheux (1769-1831) of the 95e regiment d’infanterie de ligne. It was signed by Napoleon, later countersigned by Cambacérès (Arch-Chancellor of the Empire), and docketed on the verso with details of the transmission of the...


  4. FRANCE, Ministère de la Guerre.

    Compte général de l’administration de la justice militaire pour l’année 1843.

    Paris, Imprimerie Royale, Mai 1846.

    A handsome copy, perhaps bound for presentation, of this statistical report on military justice in the French army in 1843, dedicated to king Louis-Philippe by Alexandre Moline de Saint-Yon (1786-1870), a veteran of Waterloo who served as France’s Minister of War between 1845 and 1847. The first such...


  5. CHAUCER, Geoffrey. FRINK, Elizabeth, illustrator.

    Etchings illustrating Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’. Introduction and Translation...

    [London,] Waddington, 1972.

    First edition of Frink’s monumental Canterbury Tales, one of 50 copies in the standard edition, numbered B 70 and signed by Frink, from an entire print run of 300 copies.


  6. RAWLINSON, (Toby) Alfred, Sir.

    Adventures in the Near East 1918-1922 ... in three parts with introductions ... and a general introduction...

    London & New York, Andrew Melrose, 1923.

    First edition, presented by the author to Richard Edgcumbe (1843-1937). Rawlinson (1867-1934) was a soldier, intelligence officer, pioneer motorist and aviator, and Olympic gold medallist in polo. This work recounts his travels and adventures in Mesopotamia, Persia, the Caucasus, Anatolia, on the Russo-Turkish...


  7. GWYNN, Stephen.

    Captain Scott.

    Harmondsworth: Allen Lane, Penguin Books, 1940.

    George Lowe is now best known as the mountaineer ‘who prepared the way for Hillary and Tenzing to conquer Everest’ (obituary, The Guardian, 22 March 2013) in the 1953 British Mount Everest Expedition. Lowe and his fellow New Zealander Hillary became close friends, and expedition leader John Hunt’s...


  8. MÜLLER, Christian (Charles LÉGER, translator).

    Tableau de Pétersbourg, ou lettres sur la Russie, écrites en 1810, 1811 et 1812...

    Paris, Treuttel et Wurtz; Mayence, Florien Kupferberg, 1814.

    First edition in French of Müller’s epistolary description of St Petersburg and Russia (first German edition 1813), this copy presented by the author to the Baron de Friddani. Müller, a doctor in law and philosophy from the University of Jena, travelled to Russia immediately prior to the French invasion...


  9. FORBES, James David.

    Travels through the Alps ... New edition revised and annotated by W.A.B. Coolidge ... With portrait, new maps,...

    London, Adam and Charles Black, 1900.

    A handsome edition of four of Forbes’s chief writings relating to his Alpine travels, from the library of Guido Rey (1861-1935), the distinguished Italian Alpinist, writer and photographer.


  10. SCHUSTER, Claud.

    Men, women and mountains. Days in the Alps and Pyrenees ... Foreword by Lord Sankey, G.B.E.

    London, Ivor Nicholson & Watson, 1931.

    First edition, presented by William Bellows (1873-1942) to the distinguished Italian Alpinist, writer and photographer, Guido Rey (1861-1935).


  11. [LAWRENCE, Thomas Edward.]

    JAMES, William Warwick. Drafts of an article and correspondence relating to T.E. Lawrence and music.

    Various places, 1935-1936.

    A very interesting small archive relating to T.E. Lawrence’s interest in music and to his gramophone collection, compiled by Lawrence’s friend and dentist, William Warwick James (1874-1965), and including letters from Lawrence’s mother Sarah, his brothers Bob and Arnold (the distinguished archaeologist...


  12. PERRY, William.

    The Standard French and English pronouncing Dictionary; in two Parts …

    London: Printed for Murray and Co. … J. Stockdale … and Scatcherd and Whitaker … 1795.

    First and only edition of possibly the first French-English pronouncing dictionary.


  13. BARTH, Heinrich.

    Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa: Being a Journal of an Expedition undertaken under the Auspices...

    London, Spottiswoode & Co. for Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, & Roberts, 1857-1858.

    First edition. Barth’s unparalleled and authoritative account of western Sudan and his remarkable 10,000-mile journey from Tripoli to Timbuktu. ‘Barth, during his lifetime, never received early or adequate recognition for the great work of exploration and research he undertook. […] The material...


  14. POSTEL, Guillaume.

    De orbis terrae concordia libri quatuor, multiiuga eruditione ac pietate referti, quibus nihil hoc tam perturbato...

    [Basel, Johannes Oporinus, 1544.]

    First edition of all four books of Postel’s vision of the unity of the world. The first book had been printed privately in Paris the previous year while approval of the Sorbonne theologians was awaited. When that was not granted, Postel had the work printed by his friend Oporinus in Basel.


  15. BUDÉ, Guillaume.

    Commentarii linguae Graecae ...

    [Paris], Josse Badius, September 1529.

    A nice copy of the first edition of Budé’s seminal study of the Greek language, dedicated to Francis I, and superbly printed by Josse Badius.


  16. PEIL, Johann.

    Tabula processum seu ordinem ultimi divini et criminalis judicii exhibens; cum adjunct eiusdem brevi demonstratione...

    Cleves, Gerhard Verstegen, 1625.

    First edition of this strange and rare treatise on the Apocalypse and the Last Judgement, illustrated with dramatic plates by Gillis van Scheyndel. It is the first book printed at Cleves in the Lower Rhine region of northwestern Germany. At the head of each plate appears a letter (or letters) which serve...


  17. WIDUKIND, of Corvey.

    Rerum ab Henrico et Ottone I Impp. gestarum libri III.

    Basel, Johannes Hervagen, 1532. [bound with:]

    I. First edition of ‘one of the principal sources for Medieval history’ (Potthast), the Res gesta Saxonicae of Widukind (c. 925–973), a Saxon historian at the Benedictine Abbey of Corvey, his text edited and annotated by the Ulm reformer Martinus Frecht. ‘Unlike the earlier chroniclers, he did...


  18. MISSAL, Use of Augsburg.

    Missale secundum ritum Augustensis ecceslie diligenter emendatum et locupletatum: ac in meliorem ordinem...

    [Dillingen, Sebald Mayer,] 1555.

    A beautiful copy of this imposing and richly illustrated Missal, the masterpiece of the prototypographer of Dillingen, Sebald Mayer.


  19. SA‘DI, Abu ‘Abd Allah Musharrif al-Din (Adam OLEARIUS, translator).

    Persianischer Rosenthal. In welchen viel lustige Historien...

    Schleswig, Johann Holwein for Johann Nauman in Hamburg, 1654.

    Rare first edition of Olearius’s translation of Sa‘di’s Gulistān or ‘Rose-garden’, richly and engagingly illustrated.


  20. STAPLETON, Thomas.

    Vere admiranda, seu, De magnitudine Romanae ecclesiae libri duo.

    Antwerp, Plantin-Moretus, 1599.

    First edition, posthumously published. The ‘most learned Roman Catholic of his time’ (Wood), Thomas Stapleton (1535–1598) was destined for a promising academic career before the death of Queen Mary; in exile under Elizabeth he became one of the most skilful of Catholic controversialists. A history...